Impulse To Innovation
Season 2 Episode 7: The High Flyers - UAS Challenge 2021

Season 2 Episode 7: The High Flyers - UAS Challenge 2021

August 16, 2021

In this months episode, we continue the theme of the IMechE engineering challenges focusing on the unmanned aerial system or UAS Challenge. The event is held in mid-July at the British Model Flying Association’s national centre, Buckminster.  This event sees teams of university students design, build, test and fly an unmanned aircraft system scoring points across these different segments to win the competition.  So, while Helen was busy preparing for our live Formula Student podcast, the Institution’s Young Members were out recording the highs and lows at UAS.


The University of Surrey were crowned grand champions this year, with an impressive combination of scoring across their reports and autonomous flights during the event, even recovering from a crash to have a fourth attempt at the release of the AirDropBox system.  Loughborough University only just missed out on the top spot due to a rather terminal crash, but they did manage to scoop up the majority of awards in Innovation, Design, Safety, and Operational Supportability.

There was also a virtual competition where teams could submit their designs online in lieu of them being able to attend in person. This enabled international teams to compete and gain recognition for their work despite Covid restrictions.  Teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Greece secured some of these virtual competition awards with India’s Team WRise from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in first place.


Stephen McLaughlin, YMB aerospace division representative and one of the UAS judges was on site, to talk with Paul Lloyd, Chair of the UAS Challenge, Phil Briggs, from QinetiQ one of the event sponsors, Kristina Lindon UAS project manager and one of the Imperial College London team members.


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